Stephen: Seeing the Old in the New

This past semester I was assigned a vocational project while I was studying abroad in London. The purpose of the project was to challenge our creative knowledge in a new way in the hopes that we would attain or appreciate a new skill set. At first, I jumped at the idea of creating a unique short film that focused on the creative use of time-lapses. However, as the weeks progressed I realized I had neither the time or the right drive to make that a reality. After postponing my time-lapse project for another time, I had to find a new focus for what I would do. Very quickly I arrived back at photography, which is where I tend to drift towards in many situations. In the end, I decided on creating my own “vintage” photos. Here is the before and after of one of these photos I did below:

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If you do not have the time to read on or have a short attention span like myself, I’ll break it down for you real quick and direct you to a video showing my process. Essentially what I did was take old photos I had captured before and utilized both Lightroom and Photoshop in an attempt to make them appear “old”. I flattened the images out (crushed blacks and muted highlights) to remove some modern depth/contrast from digital cameras and I applied a black and white filter to the photo. There are some other meticulous edits I took care of as well but they are not as important. I then simply brought the image into Photoshop and messed around with sepia color filters as well as “photo grunge” until I achieved the desired look. Here is a video I recorded showing myself undergoing this editing process. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you enjoy it!

Now on to a bit of self-reflection:

I have very little experience with film. Throughout the entirety of my time taking photos I have essentially only used digital cameras. I did receive an old Pentax ME Super that I should probably fix up and buy some film rolls for, but I have yet to do this. So, yeah, basically zero experience with film photography which is something that I definitely want to change sometime soon. I’m a digital photographer and my vocational project favored that heavily. However, the project did provide a unique opportunity to reach towards film without leaving the comfort of digital photography. As the above paragraph explains, I was essentially able to create fake film photos that had an aged appearance which was certainly a lot of fun. Here are the other two images I edited below:

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At this point, this entire project has acted as a motivator for me to look into film and expand upon my photography knowledge. I definitely must practice film photography and become familiar with the medium in order to become a more well-rounded photographer. Regardless of what I am currently pursuing, becoming more well-rounded/versatile is always a goal in my mind. Once I become comfortable with the craft I have to find new ways to push it forward so that I may learn and grow. This project was a good step forward and I am eager to encounter the next.

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